Magnet Marshals: New Leaders for the Class of 2014

by Callie Deng '14

On September 25th, 2013, magnet seniors John Anderson, Allison Chen, Paul B. Ellis, and Adarsh Ettyreddy were officially named Magnet Marshals for the class of 2014. This role, created by the Magnet Foundation, is the first of its kind in the history of the magnet, created to serve as liaisons for the ’14 magnet community.

The Origin Story

Earlier in September, magnet alumnus Samir Paul ‘06 came to Montgomery Blair to introduce a new position: the Magnet Marshal. During both lunch periods, clusters of magnet students filled the room and gave their undivided attention as Samir shared his magnet beginnings, his college insights, and the organization he hoped to establish in the magnet community.

Samir had been involved in the activities of the Magnet Foundation since last winter, and was looking for a way to give back. “I was searching for something distinctive I could bring to the foundation,” Samir explained. Inspiration struck when he drew from his experiences in college and beyond. According to Samir, the class Marshal position is commonly found across colleges. In his university days, Samir recognized the effect of leadership in keeping his class organized and connected, and hoped to bring that same framework to the magnet community, now and for years to come.

Words and Visions

While speeches weren’t a part of the Magnet Marshal elections, the marshals have ambition and a sense of responsibility that they wish to communicate with their class.

John: It feels good to know that I was elected and deemed by the rest of the magnet to be competent for the position. To me, it is a way to give back to a magnet program that has helped me. I feel like I have a challenge that I'm more than willing to take on as Marshal.

Allison: I am very excited to be a magnet marshal. As a Magnet Marshal, I hope to represent my class well, and stay in touch with everyone for many years to come. I hope to help coordinate events for all our class to attend, and have fun.

Paul: We extremely appreciate the trust our classmates have placed in us by electing us, and we want to make sure this position serves them. I'm thankful to be a part of such a remarkable community, and am proud to work to continue that community. I really enjoy the idea that history is made every day, and I look forward to this groundbreaking effort.

Adarsh: I am thankful that I was voted for this position to represent the wishes of the magnet student body and I look forward to staying connected with each and every member of the Magnet class for years to come.

After the information session, the selection process formally began. In the first stage, class of ‘14 magnet students were encouraged to nominate classmates they felt would best fulfill the role. By the end of nomination week, there were over 15 nominees, and the election process ensued. Magnet seniors voted for their top candidates online, using assigned election IDs to keep the process anonymous and efficient. The election proved to be a smooth success and the Magnet Marshals are already hard at work.Marshal ResponsibilitiesOn November 2nd, Samir Paul and the Magnet Marshals held their first meeting to discuss project proposals and goals. While the title ‘Magnet Marshal’ has a nice ring to it, much responsibility comes with the position. As Samir puts it, “This year’s Magnet Marshals play a big part in determining the roles for future class marshals.” Over the months, magnet marshals have developed a clear idea of what they wish to accomplish. “Our goal is to help build class unity in our last year… that will extend beyond our high school years,” Allison says. Adarsh Ettyreddy has a slightly different take on the role. “We [also] hope to provide the Magnet Board a student perspective on different aspects of the Magnet program."In the grand scheme of things, Paul B. Ellis recognizes their objectives in both the short and long-term. “[Our] short-term purpose is to make the Magnet Class of 2014's spring of senior year memorable,” he clarifies. Moreover, they aim to communicate the interests of the class to the Magnet Foundation's Board and inform the class of the Foundation’s impacts on the student body. “We want to make sure that the magnets enjoy their last year as a part of the wonderful magnet program,” Adarsh adds.In the long-term, marshals are responsible for maintaining connections with members of the magnet class, keeping them updated on magnet developments, and organizing class reunions. Drafting PlansIn their first meeting, Samir and the Marshals discussed projects to promote unity through magnet-class pride. These plans included magnet-centered events, senior gifts, and class merchandise, such as T-Shirts. “Our position was newly created this year, so our plans are still preliminary,” Paul says. “At this point, we're examining the logistics of doing events.” Ideas for magnet events range paintball and bowling, to the possibility of a Magnet field trip.

In terms of strengthening the magnet community as a whole, the marshals discussed organizing the support of recent alumni to aid current magnet students with specific academic subjects and the college application process.

And with that, under the guidance of Samir Paul, the Magnet Marshals of 2014 resume their tireless toil in the shadows – working to ensure that magnet seniors and future generations of magnets alike make unforgettable memories in an unforgettable community.